56 Photos - Feb 23, 2013
Photo: Sheila at the end of the line of preschoolers waiting to get the tour of the Presidential PalacePhoto: The kids waiting (detail)Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: We talk our way into the first gatePhoto: The presidential guard.  They changed personnel half an hour laterPhoto: We get inside the door but not yet past security; Andy (white shirt) talks with the person in chargePhoto: We wait outside the inner gate while the previous group of kids is lined up for its photoPhoto: One of the rose arrangements insidePhoto: Some of the artwork inside (viewed from outside)Photo: More artworkPhoto: More artworkPhoto: Finally we are allowed inside as part of this group of 5-year-olds.  Our guide (left, in suit) addresses the kids.Photo: Us (left) and the other kids for the unofficial group shotPhoto: View of one courtyard, ground floorPhoto: Another courtyardPhoto: Inside the three-wall mosaic mural  celebrating the Spanish discovery of the AmazonPhoto: "The sacrifice of three thousand aborigines glorifies the presence of Ecuador on the Amazon river." (In whose opinion?)Photo: The teacher explains.  Sheila (in purple coat, right) listens intentlyPhoto: We climb the stairs to the upper level while the previous group descendsPhoto: Colorful artwork by Ecuadorian painters decorates every surfacePhoto: View down into a courtyardPhoto: We are about to enter the cabinet roomPhoto: More artwork along the wallsPhoto: Here the presdent meets with the cabinet ministersPhoto: View of courtyardPhoto: Artwork everywherePhoto: We get ready to enter the state banquet hallPhoto: Not all the flowers in Ecuador are rosesPhoto: This artwork is so beautiful!Photo: Oohing and aahing inside the state banquet roomPhoto: In the banquet hallPhoto: Gilded display at one end of the banquet roomPhoto: We pass glass displays of gifts received from other heads of statePhoto: Gifts from a North African countryPhoto: Gifts from an African countryPhoto: Inside the hall of the presidentsPhoto: Hall of the presidents (detail).  Rafael Correa, the current president, recently re-elected, has served longer than any other in Ecuador's history.Photo: Gift from Saudi ArabiaPhoto: Inside the hall of presidentsPhoto: Courtyard viewPhoto: Photo: Getting ready to leavePhoto: We wait to let the new guardsmen walk to their positions outside the gatePhoto: The new guards advance to their positionPhoto: Watching the guardsPhoto: Sheila and the kids' teacher connect as we're about to leavePhoto: Language barrier?  What language barrier?Photo: Sheila helps with a complex chorePhoto: The new guards in placePhoto: A last view of the plaza from the balcony of the presidential palacePhoto: View of the building from below